Monday, 9 February 2009

Pagham - 'Friends United'.

On Sunday Anita and I travelled to Pagham to meet up with Tony & Jean, Trevor plus Keith & Sue (they emigrated south-west to Somerset some years ago but make an annual visit back to Surrey to see relatives at this time of year). When the others arrived I was already scoping Gulls & Waders on the shingle spit at the harbour entrance enjoying good, if long distance views, of Mediterranean (min x 14), Black-headed & Herring Gulls plus a large high tide roost of Knot, Turnstone, Redshank plus a few Oystercatchers and a Little Grebe in the channel.

Mediterranean Gull
After a quick catch up and introduction to Hugh (Keith's nephew-in-law) we commenced our walk around The Lagoon towards the North Wall after seeing Greenfinch, Dunnock & Kestrel. The lagoon produced Common & Great Black-backed Gulls, Goldeneye (2 females), Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and numerous Coot (not Tony's favourite!) using their extraordinary feet to walk, sometimes not too elegantly, across the frozen water. Tony & I had a brief view of a Sparrowhawk dashing over the reeds and then disappeared into the Caravan Park [not seen by the others who were probably chatting!]
Coot on thin ice!
Brent Geese were moving around and 30+ were in the field beyond the Caravan Park plus a large flock of Linnets (40+), highly mobile and only perching briefly. We scanned for any interlopers in the flock but only found another group of Reed Buntings (12+) in the same area [I've not seen that many together before] plus a few Chaffinches (mainly females). Grey Plover scoped through a gap in the hedgerow.
Grey Plover
Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tits (2), Dunnock, Magpie, Woodpigeons and a watchful Robin seen just before we walked onto the North Wall.
From the embankment we had excellent views of Brent Geese feeding in the fields with Curlew, Lapwing, Starlings, Carrion Crows & Golden Plovers plus two Pheasants and a single Meadow Pipit. Hugh located Common Buzzards (3) soaring at long distance and in the harbour as the tide turned there were Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Knot & Shelduck together with the usual ducks including Northern Pintails. Just after everyone decided it was time to return to the cars for lunch I found a Spotted Redshank feeding in a channel exposed by the falling tide. Unfortunately with the sun in my face it was impossible to get anything but a record photo. [Was this the same individual that we saw on 1st Jan?]
Spotted Redshank
Trevor 'concentrating' on keeping an accurate record!
Have the others seen the Spotted Red?
As we started to leave the North Wall something upset all the birds & we had excellent views of the oo's of Brent Geese & various waders flying around and then settling back on the exposed mudflats.
Brent Geese - synchronised flying
The return journey was fairly uneventful apart from me slipping in the deepening mud as the tide receded and ending up on my knees in order to keep bins, scope & camera from being damaged - just my pride & wet, muddy trousers!
After eating our packed lunch we walked out to view the spit so that the others could catch up with the Med Gulls and also added Common Ringed Plover & Grey Heron to my list which totalled 51 for the day. With a dramatic change in the weather - rain coming in from the west we all made our own ways back home to Surrey.


  1. glad you didn't damage your camera equipment in that mud fall! Enjoyed all your photos - I'm so fascinated by the Robin in your part of the country!

  2. What a great day Frank! So nice to be among friends and enjoy so many birds.

  3. Shelly. There was a fair amount of mud in the washing machine (tut tut!) The Robin is loved by many - you've given me an idea for a future post. Lol FAB

    Jayne. There is nothing better than birding in good company.

  4. Looks like you got a great birding day with nice pictures!!! I love the coot..

  5. The Coot is not too popular Chris, but I think I may post a few more photo's just because of the feet!

  6. Wow, what a great day of birding you had Frank. The feet of that coot are so cool looking, and I always love seeing your little robins.
    Thanks for sharing the story and photos.

  7. ...a very productive day!! That's that cute little Robin and the Brent Geese.

  8. Wow, nice post. Looks like a good time was had by all! I don't know how common or exciting these birds for you are, but for me, I'd consider it a great day!

  9. Ruthie & Kelly - I've signed you both up for the 'Robin Appreciation Society'! We rarely see the Coot's feet as its usually under the water. (Watch out for a future post).

    Yes Steve, we considered it a good day. All the birds are common in winter but many people might have missed the single Spotted Redshank. Some years ago in early Sept I logged 80+ in the same area. Coastal estuary, mudflats, reedbeds, shingle beach, sea, scrub & farmland provides a good mix of habitat. Do you have anything similar close by that would be good to visit in Autumn?


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


Related Posts with Thumbnails